Salt Bae’s London restaurant started as a myth, opened as a circus and trade on a name. He flavored steaks in gold leaf at £700 a pop, then had to take them off the menu; Salt Bae strutted around the place, knife in hand like a ringmaster, until he was no more, and the dining room at the foot of the Park Tower Hotel in Knightbridge became just another tribute hefty to conspicuous consumption. But in those short months where man and myth combined, Nusret Gökce took his guests to the city of money.
Nusret UK financial statements for 2021 are here. In its just over three months of operation – with trade, as with every restaurant in the city, partially blocked by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 – Nusret London has made just over £7m sterling in turnover and pre-tax profit of over £2.2 million.
Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) — a figure expressed as a percentage of revenue that allows for an easy, if imperfect, comparison of companies’ short-term profitability — is over 40%. According to January 2022 research by New York University (NYU) median restaurant/dining room EBITDA is 17.5%; restaurants that reach between 30 and 40% are gigantic fast food chains. But how did the restaurant do it?
Salt Bae’s London restaurant, in numbers, in 2021
Cost of sales : £2,383,395
Gross profit: £4,644,871
Administrative expenses: £2,244,041
Profit before tax: £2,308,245
Income tax : £318,530
Profit of the year: £1,989,715
How much Salt Bae’s London restaurant spent on staff
Many Salt Bae restaurants around the world have been sued for theft of wages and skimming of tipspay $230,000 to 2019 costumed employees. In 2021, the UK operation spent just over £933,000 on salaries, which corresponds to an average of 55 staff per month. Three of them were directors, who would not have received any compensation from the company in 2021. His average advertised salaries were often much less than the cheapest sides in the restaurant.
How much Salt Bae’s London restaurant spent on meat (and, like, gold leaf)
It spent £305,088 on raw materials and consumables in 2021. The directors say in their report that “quality and value play an important role in choosing suppliers, but the company also places significant importance on quality supplier credentials such as sustainable sourcing”.
Beef and leaves might not be enough to fuel an entire kitchen, but they sure can create ridiculous profit margins.
Not paying (a lot) of rent in Knightsbridge certainly helps Salt Bae – for now
The restaurant spent just over £200,000 on ‘operating lease rentals’ in 2021, but that’s not going to last. By the end of 2023, and no later than the end of 2026, the group will have to disburse just over £2 million in “non-cancellable operating leases”; An additional 3 million pounds will become payable from 2027.
Nusret UK owners keep Salt Bae afloat
Nusret UK currently owes “entities which hold a majority stake in the company” almost £9.5million in loans, repayable in over 12 months and accruing 4.5% interest per annum. In 2021, he used almost £11.5m, repaying £3.6m. Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk’s Dogus Holding is the ultimate controller of the Salt Bae franchises and, despite its monumental assets, had nearly $3 billion in debt in 2019.
Within a year from December 2021, Nusret UK will also owe a total of £4.5 million to other creditors.
Loans appear on the balance sheet under “debts to group companies”. Interestingly, Nusret UK is also from just over £9million, expect it, “amounts owed by group companies”.
How long can Salt Bae London make all this money without Salt Bae itself?
The live meme’s presence at the UK grand opening was undoubtedly a key factor in its crushing financial success for 2021. Its endless loop of virality, encapsulated in a pinch of sodium chloride, is the spectacle diners participate with their phones and wallets. . And while its absence before opening left diners so thirsty they started revisiting Nusret London even before it opened, it seems unlikely the restaurant will be able to sustain those numbers when it has become a name on its own.